by Derek Lestat, Elder & Patriarch of the GCVC 13 FEBRUARY 2020
Greetings and salutations, everyone! For this blog installment, I thought I would touch on a very hot-button topic running rampant in the VC (and reaching into the GCVC as well) over the past two months: Predators within the Community. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, the following are the opinions that I myself have personally formed, based on facts I know, facts related to me by others, observations, history, and other valued opinions.
Many of us are familiar by now, at least with the basics, of what Logan said about Todd, so I won’t even try to recap it once again; it’s been covered so many times by so many viewpoints that no matter what you say about it, you’ll be wrong in somebody’s eyes. Suffice to say: allegations were once again levied against “Father” Todd (yes, the Endless Night guy), concerning him and sexual abuses against women. I am not here to rail on about whether or not Logan could’ve handled it better, or whether or not the allegations are true, or how long the VC has known about it, etc etc.
What I will be doing is telling you the importance of arming yourself. Not with firearms or such (although if you do, that could prevent you being sexually abused, but while neither advocating or dismissing it, that’s another entire topic for another time). No, I mean to say that you should arm yourself with knowledge. Research the accused individuals. (In the case of Todd, note that allegations go back over 25 years; ask yourself why that is?) Try to find out what happened, what circumstances were. Talk to people who were there, especially the accusers. I myself was told by a friend what happened with her when she was underage and left alone with him.
It’s not just Todd. There are many other predators lurking in and around the VC. Why? The Vampire Community is home to many strong and wise individuals. It is also home to many more younger and more vulnerable people, particularly young women, many of whom are searching for something. They may not fully understand what it is they’re searching for, only that they feel a need for direction, someone to teach or lead them, or even just to listen to them and give them the direction they’re seeking. Enter the predators. Enter a handsome smooth-talker with money, reputation, social “power”. Like the classic snake-oil salesman of old, these hucksters are just waiting for the next ripe fruit to pluck from the tree. They have all the answers, all the charm. They’re able to convince these seekers of just about anything, and convince them into situations they wouldn’t normally consider, or situations they cannot get out of.
Or enter someone even worse. Enter the cult leader type. Here comes someone who, like the huckster above, has all the answers for those seeking them. They also are looking to build up their “fan base”, to gain followers and a following. The cult leader, however, will go beyond trying to make a buck off of you (although they’ll do that, too). This guy is looking to establish another kind of power base. They will use lies, deception, isolation, and more. They crave the power they have over others. Gullible young disenfranchised women are prime candidates to be sucked in to this world. Charles Manson started out as a small abused boy bounced through the legal system during his formative years. He found himself to be more than a mere thief; he found he had a charismatic gift of getting people to do what he wanted. He had his followers (mostly young and impressionable women) withdraw from mainstream society with him. Some were sexual “gifts” to Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, to gain Manson access into the rock music scene. Eventually Manson’s followers began to regard him as a Christ-like figure, and committed murders for Manson in his name. While Charles Manson was himself present for some of the murders, he himself did not commit them: these young and gullible women did that for him. Reverend Jim Jones was indeed a legitimate religious figure, and despite the horrific end chapter of his life, he did genuinely work towards, and made some very bold strides, in racial integration in America. However, Jones took a turn towards becoming a cult leader. While he did say that his people were free to come and go if they wished, in reality they were not. The plane they were seeking extraction on was chased down, and all were shot dead. Shortly after came the “Kool-Aid” incident which most of us have at least heard of, where his followers were made to either drink the poisoned beverage on their own or with assistance, while Jones himself was said to have been found dead of a gunshot wound to the head; whether it was self-inflicted or not remains a subject of debate. More recently was David Koresh, who with his 1980s rock-star looks and penchant for religious flair, found his calling preaching. He found a religious branch where he quickly rose to become their leader, and wound up recreating them into his own personal cult. Among many changes to the group, he declared that the women, married or single, would cede to serve his own sexual desires. The men, including the husbands, were to remain celibate. Koresh sired at least 15 children from this. Koresh and his Branch Davidians began amassing weapons, which drew the attention of the law which eventually led to the downfall of both himself and his cult. All three of them, and many others like them, used the same tactics of deception, outright lies and falsehoods, isolation, propaganda, and more. Cult leaders will choose their targets, usually those who are easily swayed to what they’re telling them (leading into brainwashing), and gullible young women who respond to the notion of a figure of “power”. Cult leaders will have the answers you’re seeking, even if they have to fabricate them from other sources to sound more credible to you. Cult leaders will make you feel as though they are the only ones you can or should trust. They’ll seek to gain your loyalty; even if it doesn’t seem quite right, you’re going to feel more inclined to believe them over anyone else. Cult leaders will work in isolation. While they will say they have nothing to hide, they have plenty to hide. They’ll play aloof to distract you from what they are really hiding. What better distraction? They have plenty to hide, including but not limited to illegal or illicit activities, sex crimes, abuse, neglect. Cult leaders prey on your fear and gullibility. If you’re looking for answers, if you’re afraid of something or someone, they’ll show you that they’re there for you, that they’re the one and only you should trust. Once they’ve gained your trust, you’re much more likely to be there for them too. You’ll feel that since they were there for you, you should be there for them. And now they know they can control you, that you’ll do things for them. Cult leaders will control the narrative. You might question them at first, but they will smooth-talk you, they will deal with what they tell you is “factual” information, that they know the “one true way”. They will borrow tidbits from other legitimate sources to bolster their claims. They will manipulate your thinking, while all the time letting you believe you’re thinking for yourself. (Yes, there is one such individual right here, in our own City of Chicago. I myself am old enough to remember the television news being saturated with stories of John Wayne Gacy and his atrocities. That hit far too close to home. If anything even remotely like that can be prevented, be it a disguised serial killer or a rising cult figure, then damn it as Leadership there is an obligation to see that nothing like this is allowed to continue in this City.)
I cannot stress enough to arm yourself with knowledge! They’re smart; be smarter. If you get that “gut feeling” that something seems even just a little off, listen to it. If something doesn’t seem quite right, question it. Question it with someone else, bring it up to other people. In the Vampire Community, there is no shortage of Eldership and Leadership. We do much much more than throw fashionable parties and pick up the bar tab. While you’re taking Facebook quizzes, we are the ones working away our free time to research these individuals for you. We will listen to you. Ask us questions. Bring your suspicions to us. If you do not have a House or Clan or Court near you, or you don’t belong to any group, reach out to ANY Elder. We network. We know each other. We work together. We will help you. If you are already in a situation like a cult, or if you are or have been a victim of abuse, please tell one of us so we can help you. The Eldership is not here to sell you books or jewelry or fake fangs. We are here to protect those who need protecting. We are here to leave our beloved Community in better hands and condition than it was when we joined it, when we must pass it down. We are here doing what we do for YOU. Even if your story does nothing more than helping just one person, look at the huge life-changing difference that alone will make for that one individual. And now you’ve at least gotten the word out, and that will lead to steering others from making a bad decision. Reach out to us, you may just be saving a life. Learn. Do research. Arm yourself with knowledge. If you’re hearing a lot of negative things about someone presenting themselves in a leadership role, ask yourself why that is. Ask questions. We live in the electronic information age. Look for court cases or arrest records. If something feels off, do what you can to find out why. If someone else comes up to you with concerns like these, listen to them. Help them, as well. Please, reach out to your Elders and Leaders. Chances are we are already aware of these individuals, and can give you all the information and evidence you need to draw your own conclusions.
A large number of the younger generation of the Vampire Community is prone to complaining that the elder generation are doing nothing to fix the problems. Come to us. Bring issues like this to us. Work WITH us. If we work together, we can begin removing these predators and cult leaders from OUR Community.